Bear rally against Alvernia falls short, 60-56
CENTER VALLEY, Pa.—The SUNY Potsdam men's basketball team (4-6) was down by as many as 16 in the second half, before falling to Alvernia University (7-3) by just four points, 60-56. Sophomore captain Rob Duquette led the Bears with 20 points and junior captain Curtis Pierce scored 17.
The Crusaders scored the first four points and never trailed. With 16:05 on the clock in the first half, junior guard Josh Lambert (Brooklyn, N.Y. / East New York Transit Tech) hit a jumper to tie the game at 6-6, but Potsdam wasn't able to pull even again. Alvernia followed the basket with a 9-0 run and led 17-6 at the 9:56 mark. The Bears picked up their play offensively after the run and outscored the Crusaders 14-11 to close the half, trailing just 28-20.
Pierce opened the second half with a layup to close the gap to six, but Alvernia's Josh Vargas answered with a three-pointer. The Crusader lead hovered around 10 points until 12:15 when Vargas started a 10-2 run with a jumper. The Bears started to claw their way back into the game at 8:34 when sophomore guard Greg Torchon completed a three-point play. Duquette and Pierce combined for 17 of Potsdam's final 23 points. Pierce hit three three-pointers in the final two minutes, including two with under 41 seconds to go. Freshman forward Zac Adams drained a three to cut the lead to 60-54 with three seconds left, but the Bears ran out of time.
Alvernia outrebounded Potsdam 41-31 on the night. Both teams turned the ball over 18 times and shot an identical 39.3 percent from the floor. Senior forward Brad Drysdale had a solid night for Potsdam with six points and 12 rebounds.
"We didn't rebound well tonight and we were inconsistent offensively," said Bears Coach Sherry Dobbs. "We defended well the whole game, but normally we're more aggressive and physical in the offensive end. It was a bit of a sloppy game, but we still had a chance to win. Curtis and Rob kept us in the game tonight and Brad played well defensively."
Potsdam will face tournament host DeSales at 6 p.m. tomorrow night in the consolation game.